Under Fire Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. At the beginning of Chapter 22, how many men from Bertrad's squad survive?

2. Who is eager to prove themselves as a new cook?

3. At the beginning of Chapter 16, why is Paradis worn out?

4. What do the men think of all of the things that the army issues them?

5. What does Paradis do for the old woman that he and the narrator find at the farmhouse?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The scale of the war is important to many themes in the novel, and the men of the squad have opportunities to glimpse a portion of its full size. The strategic development of deep fronts that are hundreds of miles long necessitates huge armies, and the drive for advanced and numerically superior firepower requires volumes of weapons and material. The scale of the war makes it difficult for the men to fully understand, and it makes them uninformed pawns in a game far too large to be seen from ground-level.

Part 1) Cite examples from the book to explain how the author establishes the size and scale of the war.

Part 2) Discuss the impact of the scale of the war on the men of Bertrand's squad.

Part 3) Based on information in the book, and in particular the analysis of logical men like Cocon and Bertrand, speculate about the factors that contribute to the necessity of the large force sizes seen in the novel.

Essay Topic 2

The brutality and deprivation of life in the trenches is a near-constant throughout the squad's travels and experiences. Although many men of the squad grumble and complain about their conditions, others develop a philosophical outlook and accept their state for as long as they must. This struggle to deal with the seemingly unbearable conditions in the trenches is a constant psychological challenge for the men of the squad, alleviated occasionally by leave and quartering in villages.

Part 1) Describe some of the hardships faced by the men when living in the trenches. How healthy and sanitary are the conditions? How much protection do the men have from weather or from sudden enemy attack? How comfortably are they able to eat, live, and sleep?

Part 2) Explain some of the ways that the men deal with their situation in the trenches. What luxuries and activities are considered welcome diversions? Explain examples discussed in the book of the men acting to make their situation physically more pleasant. Discuss psychological adaptations that the men make to better deal with their surroundings.

Part 3) How do the men react to the occasional respite from trench life? What luxuries of normal life do they relish? How do the men make the most of their leaves and opportunities to escape from the trenches?

Essay Topic 3

The equipment, appearance, and clothing of the poilus is discussed at length throughout the book. They are depicted as individuals, each with a unique look and personality. This individuality forms an important theme in the novel, demonstrating that the soldiers are normal people thrust into circumstances that they have difficulty adapting to and understanding. They maintain this individuality until the final chapter of the book, when the rain and mud make the men of both sides appear the same.

Part 1) Using examples from the book, explain how the author establishes the individuality of the soldiers on the basis of appearance.

Part 2) Discuss how this individuality reflects the soldier's unique backgrounds and temperaments.

Part 3) How does this individuality become an important theme in the novel? Why is it important that the author picks out and differentiates individuals among the masses of the French army? Explain how this theme is developed in the novel, starting with the introduction of the individual soldiers, and ending with the reflection near the end of the novel that war is made up of individuals, but that they fade into nothing in the grand scheme of the struggle.

(see the answer keys)

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